The State Bar of Georgia regularly takes positions on legislative proposals that are germane to its legitimate purposes and while the Bar's legislative program is supported by voluntary contributions it has historically elected to operate in the manner described in Standing Board Policy 100 (Policy). The entire Policy can be found here.
In order to comply with these self-imposed benchmarks the Policy provides for initial consideration and recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Legislation (ACL) after which the matter receives a second consideration by the Board of Governors (Board). Because neither the ACL nor the Board meets while the legislature is in session, the Policy further provides that during that period of time the Executive Committee (Committee) shall address legislative issues.
The Policy prescribes a three-step process to be followed by the Committee. It must determine by majority vote that the issue is germane to the legitimate purposes of the State Bar. Next it must determine by majority vote that the legislation could not reasonably have been submitted to the Board. If the first two votes are in the affirmative the Committee must then decide by a two-thirds majority vote to support or oppose the legislation in question.
In this particular matter the issue is germane to the legitimate purposes of the Bar and was presented at a time when Board consideration was not possible. Thus the issue fell to the Executive Committee. After hearing from supporters and opponents the Committee undertook the three-step process. All three votes were unanimous and resulted in the Report on SB 331.
It should be noted that the Committee's action in no way diminishes the right of every member to express, in his or her individual capacity, support or opposition to SB 133.